Monday, November 12, 2007

The Real Deal

I saw the British Film The Deal the other day. The film depicts the relationship between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown during the Thatcher and Major eras of British politics. It was written by Peter Morgan (pictured here) who also wrote The Queen, The Last King of Scotland - about Idi Amin- and the play Frost/Nixon- which is being adapted into a film as well.

What interests me about Morgan is how he mines real events and real characters to create his drama. In a profile in the New Yorker a few months ago he said what interests him is not so much history, but "narratives in which real public figures are thrown into unlikely relationships." John Lahr reported, "as a storyteller, Morgan is drawn to volatile, ambiguous antagaonists, " and how ambition interests him "because it's sure fire indicator of damage." I wish my students could de-construct and define their work as well.

Peter Morgan came to screenwriting after a bout of stagefright stalled his acting career and I think he is a good example of how there are many different avenues into the film business. Yet, what impresses me the most about his work is how he is so certain of the types of stories that appeal to him. He has found his milieu and knows how to best mine it. I look forward to seeing his next project.


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